Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Can I have a blanket?"

We are in metaphor country.

This weekend, I traveled down to the shore for our gymnasts' Regional Championships. It was the finale to their season, which began in October.

I wasn't sure how the meet would go. A new environment, lots of activities, lots of giggling and running around the hotel. Sunburn and stubbed toes from the impromptu soccer tournament on the beach. These do not necessarily translate to a good competition.

"We're on a business trip," I said. Nod nod giggle giggle.

But they did, in fact, find focus and pulled off an excellent meet. They treated second place like first place, running into the gym and yelling, "WE GOT SECOND" with their banner. They congratulated one another on every score and clapped throughout each other's routines. They made fun of each other. They got on each other's nerves. They looked out for each other.

All of which has something to do with gymnastics but even more to do with friendship, and comaraderie, and a certain generosity of spirit. Things that remain after the chalk settles.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Take it to the limit

They say gas prices are on their descent. Supposedly. I saw $3.96 in the normal neck of the woods and $4.25 where I work. So it goes.

The newspaper runs its requisite cover story every few months with a photo of a gas pump and screaming text about prices per barrel. A Facebook event will crop up proposing a gas station boycott. My friends complain, everybody complains.

Me, I approach gas prices the way some people approach death: I'll have to buy it inevitably, whatever the cost. Kicking and screaming won't do. I roll with it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

things I held sacred/that I dropped

(I think I used this lyric as a blog title back in, say, 2006 or whenever the song was kickin'.)

In my "What is this blog?" quest, I've come to think of this -- this intangible bit of cyberspace -- as a place for meditation and reflection, a starting point for larger pieces.

Which leads me to reflect on the sacred. There are people who were once vitally important that I now hear from rarely, if at all. I miss some of them, but we keep moving. There were boys that made my heart weep who no longer matter. I used to fear not being in school, but now a year out from grad school, I feel perfectly fine not in the classroom.

But if there is one thing that was once sacred and has now become secondary, it is exercise.

In college, a day didn't pass without going to the gym, or thinking about going to the gym. Elliptical, bike, feet on the sidewalk. Injuries didn't stop me. Snow didn't stop me. Saturday nights didn't stop me. I ate salads and fat-free yogurt. I was slender, but I never wanted to cross that line into not-quite-so-slender. I ran all of it off.

Now I have five jobs, which is no excuse to the people who also have five jobs, and a family, and a dog, and get up at 4 a.m. to train for their marathons. I admire those people. I do not like waking up at 4 a.m. unless I absolutely have to. My days fluctuate and I find it hard to find a rhythm. Excuses, excuses.

Regardless, I find that I don't mind as much when a day passes without a run. I'll get to it eventually in the week, and I usually do, but sometimes I don't. I eat chocolate and don't immediately exercise after. I am back to full-flavored salad dressings, when the mood is right.

And here's the bizarre part: I've lost weight.

My weight danced up and down in college, mainly due to injuries (Diana gains muscles/Diana gets injured and loses all muscle). Now, for the past few months, I've weighed less than I did when I graduated high school. Sure, I must have lost muscle. But I still have definition and I can still bang out pull-ups and chin-ups with the best of them.

Can there be a benefit in not holding on so tightly, so long?

Friday, May 20, 2011

hawaiian pizza

Last night, I drifted to sleep thinking of a short nonfiction piece I'd like to write. Flash nonfiction, perhaps. A brief scene of the wider story.

And then I thought that somebody will probably be offended by this story. It happens sometimes.
  • "Why didn't you write about me?"
  • "Why did you say this about me?"
  • "That's not how it happened/Did that actually happen?/That didn't happen."
  1. I just didn't. Sorry.
  2. Because I wanted to.
  3. I have an excellent memory. I'm not saying I'll remember every conversation verbatim. But put me up against most people I know, and you'll see that I hold the details they overlooked. It's how I did well on tests and used quotes on in-class essays that didn't require quotes. I remember.
I'll take out the names, but I'll still write what I want.

I feel okay with this because I'm not setting out to hurt anyone or air unairable truths. By no means am I writing exposes. I want to write these stories because they are funny, or sad, and I think others will get something from them. They are the stories I find fulfillment in writing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


is a word I saw yesterday, and wondered about.

But what I want to talk about is this: What is the story you were meant to write?

When I sat in for the last fifteen minutes of Roger's class, he had already thrown that question out to the room. I didn't have to respond, but I scribbled in my notebook anyway. I'm not sure that I found the answer.

If there is just one story, are we simply rewriting it over and over again? If there's more than one, which one weighs more? And, of course, in which form should it be told?

I thought I might take a look at what I've written over the past two years and pull from those themes. Contemporary issues in my writing, if you will.

The predominant ones seem to be:
  • Power struggles in relationships: romantic, familial, platonic. Nick and Kristina, Nick and Pete, my YA protag and her BFF, short stories about crazy women and passive men. Both heavy and humorous.
  • Departure from the known land into the unknown. Not a willing departure, persay, but a necessary one. I think this is coming closer.
  • The borderlands near death and how those left behind react and restructure themselves.
  • Athletics as a metaphor for joy, growing up, alternate means of victory. Noise and solitude.
I expect that these will change as my life changes. But they seem to be a universal starting point.

What about you?


#140: Broadbelt Guitar Duo, "Seven of Nine" (Tony will enjoy the scientific fun facts in the description)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

la cositas de esta semana

The weekly(-ish) roundup of songs!

#131: Shakira, "Gitana"
#132: David Archuleta, "Something 'Bout Love" (lol)
#133: Big Time Rush, "City Is Ours" (second lol)
#134: Vampire Weekend, "A-Punk"
#135: Ra Ra Riot, "Can You Tell"
#136: Ra Ra Riot, "Ghost Under Rocks"
#137: Joan Sebastian, "Margarita"
#138: Explosions in the Sky, "Your Hand In Mine"
#139: Explosions in the Sky, "First Breath After Coma"

Monday, May 16, 2011

These pieces are pliable

After the first rotation, second session, day two, my stomach starts closing in. People talk to me and I tighten my breath. My fingers tremble.

Too much carbonated water? Too much reliance on the power of a Clif Bar breakfast? Is it the limp lettuce on the sandwich I bought last night and brought with me today? Or too much gymnastics?

I walk outside into the gray afternoon. It's barely after noon. I have my watch but I keep forgetting the time, keep thinking that the gray has hissed into black already. Every time someone in the gym opens a door and I catch a glimpse of light on the trees, I am surprised.

I turn down the sidewalk and walk briskly though nobody is around. I call my mom to tell her that we have our first state champion from the morning session: the winner on floor, a hardworking girl who deserves the title. I keep walking. I try to take comfort in the air next to the road. Farther down is a picnic table in a thicket of trees, but I don't stop there.

Instead, the best decision seems to be sitting on the curb. I put my head in my hands and think of what my fictitious coach would say to Nick Galveston. Empty your mind. In the black I see leotards of all colors and grips rubbing chalk. Those colors are exhausting. So are the music and the hip-shimmying floor routines, the wobbles on beam, the slow and shaky bar routines.

You need a real fire to burn this long.


At the end of the meet, we ask her, "Do you want to beat your teammates? Do you wish them well, but want to do better?"

She doesn't hesitate: "Yes."

Friday, May 13, 2011

When I look back on how I spent the in-between time, I know I will not regret the extra miles to the oceanside.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blogger, why must you scare me into thinking that 7 years of blog entries (and many a "saved as draft") have disappeared?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Finding Focus (?)

So I'm thinking maybe this blog will be more interesting to, I don't know, the world? if I find a particular focus/theme, besides the broad-based "my life."

Except I like this place for note-taking, the jots and glimpses, and fun quotes, and serious quotes, and fun times and real times.

I've been going through random Tumblrs to get a sense of the "Tumblr experience," and the site seems to be home to many a twenty-something doing their thing in life, or trying to do their thing, or figuring out what that thing is. I think all of that applies to me and what goes on in here. It's like an extended personal essay, this blog: I am on a journey, and recording in bursts.

Thoughts, reading friends?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Elves and music

In a discussion of how Wikipedia leads to inexplicable searches...

Mark: "I'm reading about elves."

Diana: "Why?"

Mark: "I don't know."


It's a beautiful day out here on the Eastern Front, and so 'tis time to return to the music.

#124: TV On the Radio: "Wolf Like Me"
#125: Matt & Kim, "Daylight"
#126: Fitz and the Tantrums, "Breakin' the Chains of Love"
#127: Secret Garden, "Dreamcatcher"
#128: Three Doors Down, "When You're Young"
#129: Shinedown, "Call Me'' (stay away from this one if you've got a case of the emos)
#130: Revive, "Blink"

Sunday, May 08, 2011

It's me and the moon, she says

I thought up a novel about a girl,

and I'm glad, not because it's a girl, but because I worry sometimes that the long-form stories will fall out of me and there won't be anything to follow. The fiction, that is. I suspect that there will always be enough real life to write about.

Right now is a weird time. I have expectations, maybe too rigid, about what I should be doing and where, extending to others my age (and influenced by them). I am in neither country nor city, but it would take only a moment to access either. This is a place in some turns enviable and others stifling. It could be better and also worse.

There is the gravitational pull, the constant, and also the individual rotation of the planets. Free will, if you believe in such a thing. Can you reconcile them? How do you find a midway?

You tell me: Is anyone truly happy where she is?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

"I've basically carbonated my toilet water." -Dom

Friday, May 06, 2011

the "we are not magicians" speech

You have to walk the right line between fostering dreams and tempering them. Letting them fly and dragging them back down. Go ahead and what are you doing?

You can only hope that you're doing it right.

in addition

This is no longer a world for your garden-variety superhero.

I decided to Wikipedia the word "stringer" to make sure that I use it properly, because what else should one do at 1:31 in the morning before bed? I found this grand little line:

"...But with the collapse of the traditional newspaper advertising model and the emergence of the Internet, many stringers are becoming superstringers."

Cue theme music.

quicksand's got no sense of humor

When I'm enraged, there's no better feeling than writing an angry email.

The blood rises, the speeches form, and I realize: to properly capture how annoyed I am, I need to write this down. And not just anywhere. Someone needs to read it.

I think this is why Christina and I have remained friends since our first year of living together at college. Life strikes and boom, we click the "New" tab and get rolling. The novel floweth.

I can organize and rearrange, use all the background and "evidential stories" that I wish, cut repetition, add zinging lines I wish I could say out loud, and have an immediate audience that will still like me afterwards. Then I can reread and feel satisfaction in the narrative. "That's right!" I'll think.

So coherent! So clean! So unlike the way I would speak about such things!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

como empieza el cinco de mayo

It just hit me so clearly that I needed to put it down.

As I have the propensity to remember to submit the day before, or the day of, the deadline, I thought: Why not create a calendar with the deadlines for the magazines/journals/contests that interest me? Mayhap even a G-calendar?

So much modernity.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Yeah, it happened.


Note that I've done nothing but change the background. The rest will come with time.

Come join me on this journey.

Monday, May 02, 2011


If you sit quietly, you hear the train go by.

Mobile Titles

Sweet, it worked! Except I suppose that I'll need to go back via computer (or someone else's phone) to create titles.

So mod.


Woman on train: "I haven't had a wine cooler in twenty years. I haven't seen a wine cooler in twenty years."
Man: "It's like riding a bike."

Flo on playing Words With Friends with Tony: "I come up with a fancy word for twelve points. Tony puts down 'DOGS' for fifty points."


#119: Sam Sparro, "Black and Gold"
#120: Interpol, "Slow Hands"
#121: Interpol, "Lights"
#122: Ray LaMontagne, "You Are the Best Thing"
#123: As Tall As Lions, "Love, Love, Love"
My maiden voyage at mobile blogging. Here goes!

Sunday, May 01, 2011



We are all born superstars.